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06 May 2008

Taking Stock

Databases and Systems of Information Exchange in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

Florian Geyer

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CHALLENGE Research Paper No. 9 / 45 pages

Exchange of information in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, using new technologies like biometric identifiers and creating large-scale centralised EU databases is a highly topical, yet equally controversial issue. A number of EU databases and systems of information exchange are already in place, others will soon become operational. In spite of this, proposals for new measures and mechanisms are frequently tabled; it appears as if the EU is only at the beginning of a ‘new age of information exchange’. This working paper aims at taking stock of this development by providing a comparative picture of existing JHA databases and rules on information exchange in the EU, as well as some of the main proposals in this field. The paper also looks at how some databases are used in practice and puts forward some suggestions as to how to alleviate concern about data protection.

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